Program Recap - Aug. 13, 2014
Last week our program was given by our own Rotarian Mike Henry on the topic of community newspapers and more specifically the Crossroads Chronicle. Mike is the publisher of our community newspaper.
He began the program by discussing the first amendment of our constitution, freedom of the press and free speech. The founding fathers knew that an informed and educated public was required for a democracy to flourish. The first amendment is the foundation of a thriving democracy. News dissemination through newspapers and other media are the key conduits of public discourse. Since only 15% of Jackson County has internet service the newspaper provides a vital service in our community.
Strong newspapers build strong communities. The Chronicle maintains its neutral and unbiased approach when it comes to content. The newspaper also puts out several magazines each year featuring different aspects of the community. These are Legacy magazine, Best Of Cashiers magazine and The Real Estate Guide. The newspaper currently has a circulation of around 2300 subscribers. The paper's size is based on the number of advertisers and the ad revenue. The Crossroads Chronicle is one of 30 newspapers owned by the parent company located in Athens, GA.
The Chronicle has recently hired Justin Caudell for the position of Editor. You may remember him because he was a Cashiers Rotary Club Scholarship recipient. Now that he has graduated college he has returned to the area and the place he loves. The Chronicle shares a reporter with the Highlands newspaper. Justin is responsible for editing the paper, managing the reporters, the content and page layout decisions. For those letters to the editor that are submitted and follow the guidelines established by the paper they are published 99% of the time.
In order to more effectively serve the community the Chronicle has been trying to get access to the incident reports in the area in addition to the arrest records they currently recieve. This way if there are burglaries in the area the residents can be on the alert. The state legislature has been trying to move the legal notices normally published in the paper to a government website to save money. If that happens the paper will have a harder time publishing local notices.